My Mother Gave Me A Farm In The City

That’s me with my duck Abraham.

Who buys her daughter baby chicks, ducks, and a bunny…in the middle of the city?

My mother, that’s who.

Imagine the squeals of delight one Easter morning. I was the happiest of happy!

We didn’t live in the country. Quite the opposite. Nor did we have the proper pens and enclosures yet built. We housed our extended family in our laundry room off the kitchen. Added some heat lamps. Purchased feed. Received a donated rabbit hutch for the backyard.

Our farm was set!

Like Fern from Charlotte’s Web, I fed, watered, nurtured, and talked to my friends every day. Their peeps and nibbles and sweetness made me overjoyed.

My human friends thought I was so lucky. Indeed.

One baby duck, Quincy, didn’t make it and died after a week. It was a tough life lesson. The other duck, Abraham, thrived.

I was Fern and loved my feathered and furry babies.

When the chicks and duck outgrew their soft downy feathers and grew into their adult feathers, it was time to move them from the laundry room to the backyard, into coops and hutches.

One chick grew into — gasp! — a rooster and became the 5:00 a.m. (extremely loud) alarm clock for the entire neighborhood. Abraham, the duck, was so well mannered that he accompanied me through the neighborhood on a leash. Waddle, waddle. The rabbit was simply happy with carrots and came out for snuggles, when I cleaned her perennially poop-filled hutch. Caring for animals: another life lesson.

Our menagerie of animals in the city symbolized my childhood: colorful and interesting — full of life, love, and experiences. My mother was the ring leader, with her big heart and big dreams.

Indeed, I am so lucky.